Moving forward on park improvements

Cleveland Town Council

The Cleveland town council held its regular monthly meeting last Thursday.

Councilman Doug Hill reported to the council that plans for the annual Labor Day BBQ and Bluegrass Blowout festival are going well. He said the musical entertainment is lined up. The council has already agreed to provide an inflatable water slide and a bounce house for children. Attendance is free. Food can be purchased. The menu will include BBQ plates, Boston butts, pork ribs, and chicken quarters. The proceeds go to maintain and improve the park.

Mayor Jerry Jones informed the council that, thanks to information received from County Extension Coordinator Dan Porch, the town received a grant through the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils for a significant amount of potting soil at no cost. Jones said he has made arrangements to pick up about 360 bags next week.

The mayor told the council that Porch had also helped find an associate who would help the town develop a wildlife habitat plan that will be incorporated into the overall design for the proposed new park. Jones said this also would not cost the town any money.

The mayor and council members praised Police Chief Bill Ferry when Jones notified the group that the chief had recently received an award of achievement for police management from the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police. Ferry said he was grateful for the support he has gotten from the council and noted the award he received was an acknowledgement of a “team effort.”

Jones presented the council with a proposed ordinance regarding vehicles towed by the police department and asked Ferry to explain the need. The police chief gave an example of an instance when a vehicle had been towed because a person’s driver license was revoked. At present the same driver can go and retrieve the vehicle from the towing company and drive away, without a valid license.

He said the new ordinance would make it a requirement that only the owner can retrieve the vehicle by presenting the registration, a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and pay a $25 fee. The mayor said the documentation could be presented at the town hall when open or to the towing company. Jones also said that if a towing company fails to comply, it will no longer be used. The council all voted in favor of the ordinance, but only after it unanimously agreed to suspend the rule that would have prevented its passage until the next regular meeting, a procedural move allowed by the Code of Alabama.

An estimate of $1,225 from Stream South Communications to improve the internet connection at the fire department was brought to the council by councilman James Bynum. He said the department receives some training via the streaming of classes; however, the intermittent internet service makes it difficult. If the work is approved, the company will set up antennas connecting the department to the internet service at the town hall, which is received via a fiber optics cable, thus eliminating the problem. The council agreed to the proposal.

Paige Smith from One Way Outreach Ministries in Cleveland announced the church was starting an after-school program for children ages five to 12. She said anyone wishing to know more can contact the church at 205-625-2013.

The council is composed of Mayor Jones, Councilmen Hill, Bynum, Tommy Swindle, Sherry White, and James Sullivan. All were present at the meeting. The council’s regular meeting is the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the town hall.